The Azzure Rune Changes Theory As a follow-up to Flux's recent news post: Additional non-item Runestones Evidence Here is my theory (and this is a just a bit of fun, it is probable that it is mostly incorrect) The Azzure Rune Theory Introduction In my opinion, there are 4 problems with the Leveling / skill system: (I'm sure there are a lot more but these 4 are the ones I am basing my theory on) - The level 30-60 deadzone: This is the period between level 30 and 60 where your character currently has all leveing rewards and leveling up simply does nothing but increase your numerical level value, and increases your stat points by a miniscule margin. - The Rune Inventory Problem: The attunement Rune system causes major inventory issues for the reasons everyone already knows about, so I won't go in to too much detail. Basically, 5 colors of runes for each ability = 125 runes NOT including different Ranks and different affixes. - The Rune Rank Redundancy: Rune Ranks are completely redundant at the moment. It was designed when skills still had ranks (skill points). However despite them being redundant, they are still important for "mastery" of your character, and progression outside of gear. - Lack of Player-decision customization: Leveling up at the moment grants the player no control over their characters destiny now that skill points and stat point distribution are out. Simply put. The theory: While I obviously can't guess exactly what they are specifically doing, these are the broad-strokes of my theory (which could turn out to be totally wrong mind you). The specific details are almost definitely wrong, but I think the main concept has a decent chance of being accurate. I think there is a good chance Blizzard have changed Runes to no longer be permanent physical items, but rather be tied to your level-up progression whilst perhaps still retaining some mastery component to it through itemization. I think all 4 issues above are all going to be addressed with these changes. In other words, the new Rune system is going to integrate Runes with leveling up, rather than dropped items. While I have a reasonable amount of confidence that this will be the case, the specifics below are total guesses, so I fully expect most of it to be inaccurate: So instead of Runes dropping and you attuning them to an ability of your choice etc, I think Blizzard are now distributing Rune effects by "unlocking" them for abilities as you level up. Whether they do this by adding a "Rune Points" system in which you gain a point to spend on unlocking a rune effect of your choice when you level up (similar to what skill points were), or some other mechanism, such as Rune effects unlocking themselves at certain level ups (like skills). Under this system, you would "unlock" all the Rune effects by level 60 for every ability. And when selecting your Rune, you would simply select it from your skill-selection window, no different to selecting a skill, rather than "socketing" a Rune in it. The second part of this theory is that I think Rune ranks will be replaced with either an automatic rune-power increase as you level up (exactly like Skills after the Weapon damage % changes) (eg Rank 5 at level 40, rank 7 at level 60) OR more likely by some consumable item that permanently increases the rank of a Rune effect, like a Tome of Meteor Shower Rune Rank 5, or a Tome of Frost Hydra Rune Rank 7. The higher ranks obviously a lot rarer, in inferno etc. I'd love to see your ideas and predictions below!